We gave it an A-
Forget everything you’ve learned about Carrie Bradshaw. In this novel The Carrie Diaries, (an origins story, of a sort), Candace Bushnell introduces us to the? beloved character before sex and the city take over. Here, we meet ”Bradley,” as her friends sometimes call her, at the start of her senior year of high school in a small Connecticut town, where she faces problems recognizable to any teen: Should she follow in her father’s footsteps to Brown? Why are her closest friends suddenly making such baffling choices? Can she really be in love with a guy who doesn’t appreciate her personalized handbag? (Okay, so there are hints of the familiar.) Observant and archly feminist, she dreams of a life in New York, a trip to Paris, getting the guy — and becoming a writer. Some of these things happen and some will, no doubt, be left to the inevitable sequel. It would have been easy to write a coming-of-age story about Carrie Bradshaw that ham-fistedly foreshadows everything fans of the franchise know will come to pass. But Bushnell nails something harder: telling another chapter? in the story of a cherished character that stands on its own. It isn’t quite the Carrie we’ve spent the last decade with on screen (though the novel does tip at the connection to her future friends by the end), but? this one is worth getting to know too. A?